Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova welcomed the news of talks with Russia as a possible way to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine but added her home country is “not ready to surrender.”
Markarova said in an ABC News interview on Sunday Ukraine’s focus has always been on using diplomacy to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in response to news Ukraine has agreed to meet with Russian negotiators at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border.
“Our president, from the beginning, even before the war started, always focused — was focused on the diplomatic solution,” Markarova said. “And even after the war started, he actually called for peace talks all the time, but he always said, we’re ready for peace talks, we’re not ready to surrender,” she said.
Markarova also called on the West to offer more military aid to the Ukrainian military and pushed the US and its allies to issue further sanctions on Russia. Markarova also called on US businesses to consider divesting from Russian businesses and financial institutions.
“We are grateful for everything that is there already and that is about to come, and we need more because we are defending our country against a very strong enemy. We also need sanctions, more sanctions, and we need Russia to clearly see that and feel that it's not okay in the 21st century, to attack another country, a sovereign country without any reason,” Markarova said.
“And I also would like to use this opportunity also to call on American business,” Markarova added. “I think it's time to think about saving reputations and not cooperating with a regime that will end up in The Hague for everything they've done and they're doing now to Ukraine,” referring to the International Court of Justice where alleged war crimes are heard," she said.
Background: On Saturday, the White House, alongside the European Commission and other allies, announced their intent to expel some Russian banks from the international banking network SWIFT and target the Russian Central Bank with severe sanctions.
Markarvoa also gave an update on the safety of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying he is “as safe as our country.”
“He is as safe as our country, and that’s the choice he made to stay in Kyiv, to stay in Ukraine and lead the nation in this very difficult moment,” Markarova said.